Thanksgiving 2015

Today, in America we are celebrating a national holiday called “Thanksgiving” in commemoration of the Pilgrim’s thankfulness towards the indigenous Americans. But as we approach the 400 year anniversary of this event (2021) what actually drove it to be a national holiday? In 1789 our first President, George Washington declared a Day of Thanksgiving to God. To read it go here: http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/first-principles/primary-sources/washingtons-thanksgiving-proclamation . Then in the midst of our nation’s most heartbreaking conflict, the Civil War, our nation’s most comforting peacemaker, President Abraham Lincoln made a speech truly laying the foundation for the Thanksgiving holiday. Here is the speech, given shortly after Lincoln dedicated his life to Jesus Christ:

Proclamation of Thanksgiving by the President of the United States of America

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the field of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony wherof I have herunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

[Signed]
A. Lincoln

(http://christiananswers.net/q-wall/wal-alincoln-tgiving.html)

So I was reading 2 Corinthians 9:10-15 and felt like it fit today perfectly. No, I didn’t just do a word search for “thanksgiving” and throw something together. This came from my morning devotions where I felt I could truly learn a lesson from this section of Scripture. The context here is the “cheerful giver” where God, through Paul, reminds us that He doesn’t need our money and He’s not twisting our arms. We aren’t to give to God because we think we’ll get a blessing and not because the Bank of Heaven is bankrupt but because God has given us so much, and in humble gratitude we give back to Him what is already His!

Thank you Lord, for providing every aspect of our life, not only do you produce the food that will pile on our table today but you provided and fashioned the seed that it originated from. We pray that we aren’t relying on our righteousness because, in comparison to your right-ness, it is but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We pray that you would provide the seed of Your righteousness because that will produce the fruit of others giving thanksgiving through us to You. And to You and You alone belongs all honor, glory and thanksgiving.

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